What is Collapse stack for?

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  12 December 2013
What is Collapse stack for?

Today I collapsed all objects on scene which contain a lot of differernt modyfiers, save file and compere with original filesize and discover strange thing. After cllapsation file-size instead of get smoller is even bigger. Then I check it on single model and no matter what, after transformation object to editpoly(I guess mesh to, I heven't check it) objectsize is bigger. After collapsation more then 450 objects I also haven't noticed any significant viewport speed up. So I'm wandering what is the point of collapsation modyfiers stack? I test it on max2013. Do anybody have clue what's going on with this, you always can check it by our self.

Additionally I used few different script which should decrease filesize by removing object history, realcollapse etc. but still file size is growing after you transform model to editable poly.
  12 December 2013
Sure, take for example a parametric object like a 32-segment sphere, as a primitive it only has to store the parameters; after collapsing it, there are 992 edges/482 verts defining 512 polygons/1024 tris to store. The same is true for various modifiers - and if you have instances in your scene and collapse them to individual objects, instead of storing one object and multiple nodes that have it as their baseobject, you now have multiple nodes with unique baseobjects. So if you only want to make the file smaller, instancing, primitives and modifiers are the way.

Collapsing the stack, on the other hand, should make RAM usage smaller; in some cases (such as renderable splines) it can make the viewport a bit snappier too.

I'd be interested to know what you refer to as object history and realcollapse, btw.
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  12 December 2013
The file size increase is natural since you are converting/collapsing a 'Parametric' object(objects you usually start your projects with like a cube or line) which have very small file sizes(because they are parametric), to a geometry object type(like an Editable Poly) which have much larger sizes.

The purpose of Collapsing the stack is simplification from the perspective of the user and overall performance from the perspective of Max since the larger your stack, the more 'Memory' it will occupy, so you'll be freeing RAM not Hard Disk space.

Edit: lol, we posted at the same time, we are post twins now...

Last edited by Rudiam : 12 December 2013 at 11:46 AM.
  01 January 2014
collpse is useless function

Today I did test, I created 1000 teapots with lot of modyfiers on it and use some light, camera movement, view - realistic and fps was 12. After I colasped all objects modyfiers it was still 12 fps, filesize increase and memory usage increased a bit so what is the point of collapse stack. Does anybody even check how it work like?
  01 January 2014
Your viewport's FPS has mostly to do with how many nodes and how much geometry is in view, not your modifiers stack(specially if the nodes are not animated/deforming)..
  01 January 2014

Thanks for reply but question is without answer. ok so I ask once a gain what collapse is for if not for decrease file size, memory use, viewport speed up, so what for ?
  01 January 2014
Collapse Stack is there for all of the above named reasons. While it might not work in your special case it's a production proven feature to decrease the CPU load, especially when sending heavy files to rendering, when working in an asset sharing environment or exporting data to other applications or prior versions of 3ds Max.
  01 January 2014
did somebody checked it

Regarding "Collapse Stack is there for all of the above named reasons"

The reason I ask about it is because I was as convince in my believe as you and after many years I have never check it is it really working until I tested collapse stack on several scenes with different condition and this "production proven feature" seems to do anything in viewport. People opinions are different like you can see above. I know what it should to do, but dose anybody check it and can say "yes I test it, check memory size, file size, viewport fps after and before collapsation and it indeed reduce some of those factors". I test it on max 2013. Maybe it's my computer issue but I highly doubt in it. Thanks everybody for your replays and I induce you to check it, its very important feature after all.
  01 January 2014
A few points collapsing the stack is good for ( as saveing memory etc. is only a minor side effect)

* the stack can easily break when you change selections somewhere below the stack

* math rounding errors and other things ( different Max versions etc..) can cause results of stack operation vary from system to system and even Max sessions to max session on the same system. So this again would introduce a potential issue

* there is no need for the whole stack when you are done with your modelling etc...


think about yourself and if you did'nt experience situations till now where it would have been better to have collapsed the stack, you will in the future ..
It's a question of experience and solid workflow

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  01 January 2014
A simple example to further Spacefrog's reasoning might be:

A typical stack whilst modeling might look like this:

(collapse stack)
unwrap uvw
(collapse stack)
editable poly

Once the asset is completed it can now be exported to other applications with UV's baked in.
So you see the stack can be collapsed and built up, collapsed and built up.....it's not the finality it may seem, but rather another tool.
  01 January 2014
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